KUALA LUMPUR, May 17 — The 5G network developed by Digital Nasional Bhd (DNB) will continue to be used as one of the two 5G networks in Malaysia when the country shifts to dual 5G network operations.

Communications and Digital Minister, Fahmi Fadzil said this step was in line with the establishment of DNB, which is aimed at speeding up the implementation of 5G in the country.

“In fact, as of April this year, DNB has succeeded in developing the 5G network in 59.5 per cent of populated areas in the country.


“So, it will continue to be used and in fact, DNB’s 5G network will remain in operation and be expanded to reach 80 per cent coverage of populated areas,” he said in an interview with the media on the direction of the 5G rollout in Malaysia at the Communications and Digital Ministry building in Putrajaya recently.

Fahmi said that by early next year, a second entity would be established to begin developing the second 5G network in the country.

“So, our target is for the first 5G network by DNB to hit 80 per cent coverage of populated areas by the end of this year, and early next year this entity B (second entity) will begin from zero, operating in stages and reaching equivalent coverage with the first network (80 per cent) within a period of about two years,” he added.


Fahmi added that the government would not have any holdings in the new entity and in fact, did not have any intention to get involved.

According to him, the decision to introduce a second 5G network through the new entity, apart from changing the implementation model from a single wholesale network (SWN) to a dual network, would not have any adverse effects on consumers.

He said this was the joint commitment given by the government and telecommunication companies to consumers, especially in the aspects of package price offered and service quality.

“Although (next year) there will be entity A and entity B, (when) we switch to a dual network, the government, especially through MCMC (Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission), has the power to ensure there will not be a situation which will bring negative effects on consumers.

“We have the Communications and Multimedia Act...if there is domination, unhealthy competition or breach of service quality offered to consumers, MCMC can issue an order and in fact, impose penalties on the company concerned,” he added.

Fahmi also gave an assurance that the creation of a dual network involving two different entities would not lead to any increase in costs for telecommunication companies at the wholesale level.

“There will be no increase in network wholesale costs per gigabyte to telecommunication companies; this is important as it will determine the package price to be offered by telecommunication companies to consumers.

“At the same time, MCMC has enough instruments like the Mandatory Standard on Access Pricing (MSAP) to put a ceiling price on wholesale as was implemented last Feb 16 for the high-speed broadband wholesale service,” he said.

Fahmi also shared about the constraints faced in 5G deployment, especially involving local authorities (PBT) throughout the country, which were seen as lacking coordination in various matters related to telecommunication service.

“In certain PBT areas, four types of fees are imposed, some up to 14 types of fees. Some PBT impose charges for the installation of high-speed broadband service, do not allow the use of monopoles, and requires the use of underground pipes, so all this will incur extra costs.

“So, the task force we set up last Tuesday will also look into such things because I am confident that when we strengthen management matters, we can save costs,” he said.

He said the task force would also take the cue from the success of the National Digital Network Plan Initiative (Jendela), which had gained international recognition at the World Summit on the Information Society Prizes 2023 (WSIS Prizes 2023) in Geneva, Switzerland last March 14.

Fahmi also said the government would remain firm in terms of security in all aspects involving the launch of the 5G network in the country.

“This is why in our evaluation of various models, and choices available for this 5G implementation, the issue of national security and sovereignty is given strong emphasis, not only revolving around business models but also contract obligations and other issues,” he said. — Bernama